Kafalonia History

    Kefalonia has been inhabited in an organized manner since the 10th century B.C. According to the historian Thoukidides, as early as the 5th century B.C. it was divided into four distinct and autonomous states that comprised the “Cephalonian Tetrapolis” (Sami, Krani, Palli, and Pronnoi). The names of the four city-states according to myth were derived from the names of mythical Kefalos’ four sons. Today Pronnoi occupies the southeastern part of Elios-Pronnoi Municipality. Significant findings from archeological excavations in
the area prove that it has been inhabited since prehistoric times and that it was an important Mycenaean Center. Excavations to date point to Kefalonia as the undisputable center of the Mycenaean Era in the western island region of Greece. This reasonably associates the island with the ongoing archeological research for the geographical location of Homeric Ithaca. Findings at the Drakena Cave in Poros prove human existence at least 6000 years B.C. and use of the cave as a place of worship.

   The most significant archeological find however is located at Bortzi near Tzanata village. It is a vaulted tomb of the Mycenaean Era that was excavated by archeologist
L. Kolonas in 1992. The tomb has a diameter of 6,80 m. and is the largest and best preserved such tomb in western Greece. The excavation finds include seals, pottery, golden jewelry and copper tools. The discovery of the tomb proves the existence of a significant Mycenaean Center and strengthens the argument that this was the location of Homeric Ithaca.

   Other significant sites of archeological interest include the Temple of Apollo or Poseidon on the location of St. George’s chapel in Skala dated to the 6th century B.C., and the Roman Villa in Skala with its fabulous mosaic floors.

  Like the rest of the island, southeastern Kefalonia came to know many conquerors in the course of its history: Romans, Francs, Venetians, Russians, Turks, French, and the British – until 1864 when Kefalonia along with the other Ionian Islands was reunited with Greece.

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